Premier League Matchday 34: Extra Rest Will Help Liverpool

The race for the Premier League continues this weekend with both Manchester City and Liverpool facing a severe test of their title credentials at Selhurst park and at home to Chelsea respectively.

Brand Ambassador Michael Owen again shared his thoughts exclusively with BetVictor on all the weekend action.

 

Leicester City v Newcastle United

Leicester have won their last four Premier League games and the appointment of Brendan Rodgers has seen an upturn in the goalscoring fortunes of Jamie Vardy. The striker has found the back of the net six times in the five games since the former Liverpool and Celtic boss took over the reins at the King Power and is at the top of his game at present.

United have lost their last two league games and failed to score in both matches. I think the Magpies will find the back of the Foxes’ net at the King Power but feel the Foxes will gain what would be their first ever Premier League win on a Friday with their current record standing at P6 W0 D2 L4.

Tip: Leicester to win  7/10

 

Tottenham v Huddersfield

Spurs will take a narrow one-goal lead back to the Etihad in the second leg of the Champions League next week and who knows just how important Sergio Aguero’s early penalty miss will be, once the dust has settled.

Two games, two wins and two clean sheets for Spurs since they moved into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and I would be very surprised if relegated Huddersfield dented that proud record at the weekend.

Tip: Spurs to win to nil  11/10

 

Brighton v Bournemouth

Only relegated Huddersfield and Fulham have a worse league record than Bournemouth since the end of October with the Cherries winning just five of their last 23 PL games. Indeed, only Fulham (44) have conceded more goals on the road this season than Eddie Howe’s side who took an early lead but were easily brushed aside by Burnley at the Vitality Stadium last weekend.

Beaten FA Cup semi-finalists Brighton are without a win in their last nine league games against the Cherries (L5 D4) but I feel they can win a low-scoring encounter at the Amex.

Tip: Brighton to win  11/8

 

Burnley v Cardiff City

Cardiff have lost five of their last six league games and I think Burnley will continue to climb the table and gain a third successive league win.

Ashley Barnes scored the opening goal at Bournemouth last weekend – albeit at the wrong end – but quickly bounced back with his 10th league goal of the season and Barnes’ form mirrors that of the Clarets side. After a slow start he has really hit his straps in recent weeks and he could easily break Danny Ings’ PL club record of 11 goals in a season.

Tip: Ashley Barnes to score at anytime  13/10

 

Fulham v Everton

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Everton manager Marco Silva during the Pre-Season Friendly between Everton and Valencia at Goodison Park on August 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

Relegated Fulham have conceded at least twice in their last 13 league games and the only criticism you could throw at Everton in recent weeks – certainly their wins against West Ham and Arsenal – is that they have not been as clinical in front of goal as their general play has warranted.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to go from strength to strength for the Blues who I feel will have too much for the Cottagers and gain a fourth successive league win – all against sides from the capital.

Tip: Everton to win and both teams to score  12/5

 

Southampton v Wolves

Wolves need to bounce back after their Wembley disappointment on Sunday when they let slip a two-goal lead in the FA Cup semi-final with Watford.

Saints have dropped 23 points from winning positions so far this season after they lost the lead and all three points to title-challengers Liverpool at St Mary’s last Friday. I am finding it hard to split the teams and a draw is the recommendation.

Tip: Game to finish in a draw 11/5

 

Manchester United v West Ham

West Ham improved in the second half at Stamford Bridge on Monday, but they were well beaten by Chelsea and I expect United to keep all three points as they look to continue their push for a Champions League berth.

The Irons have lost six of their last seven away league games and have lost all four away games played so far this season against “big six” sides by an aggregate of 1-10.

Tip: United -1  1/1

 

Crystal Palace v Manchester City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City gives his team instructions during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City v FC Schalke 04 at Etihad Stadium on March 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

City were not at their best against Spurs midweek, but they cannot afford to look ahead to the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final given they have a tough game at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Indeed, Palace are looking to do the double over City for the first time since the 1972-73 season and this will be a severe test of City’s title credentials. Win and the pressure is back on Liverpool – who entertain Chelsea later in the afternoon.

If they drop points, then it will be advantage Liverpool – I expect Pep Guardiola’s side to show their class and mettle in what promises to be a terrific game.

Tip: City to win and both teams to score  15/8

 

Liverpool v Chelsea

Liverpool take a two-goal lead to Porto on Wednesday and I feel they can maintain their title challenge against Chelsea even though the Blues have such an excellent recent record at Anfield – unbeaten in their last six in the Premier League and 2-1 winners in the League Cup earlier in the season.

Chelsea are in Europa League action in Prague on Thursday having comfortably disposed of West Ham on Monday night courtesy of another Eden Hazard masterclass.

Liverpool will have an extra 48-hours to prepare for the game and I expect to see the Reds – unbeaten in their last 37 PL games at Anfield – keep the points.

Tip: Liverpool halftime/fulltime  31/20

 

Watford v Arsenal

WATFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Troy Deeney of Watford after scoring the equalising goal during the pre-season friendly match between Watford and Sampdoria at Vicarage Road on August 4, 2018 in Watford, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

FA Cup finalists Watford won the corresponding fixture against Arsenal last season 2-1 and I think they will give Unai Emery’s side plenty to think about in a game sandwiched in-between the Gunners’ Europa League quarter-final ties with Napoli.

Vicarage Road is sure to be bouncing after the Hornets’ tremendous Wembley comeback and the Gunners’ have yet to keep a clean sheet on the road so far this league season.

If there is to be a winner on Monday night I feel it will be the hosts.

Tip: Watford Draw No Bet at 11/8

Michael’s weekend wager: Leicester City, Burnley and Liverpool  5/1

*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article

Michael Owen

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BetVictor's Brand Ambassador

Michael Owen is a former football player, played striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United. He has represented the England national team at three World Cups and after his goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup was voted the 2nd best goal of the 20th century, he was awarded BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He is the last Englishman to win the Ballon d'Or, receiving the honor in 2001.

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